Digital marketers get a lot of crazy requests. But suggestions like the one in the title of this blog — which showed up in a Readers’ Digest story about freelancing — can send a marketing account rep walking away holding his head in his hands. While we are incredibly blessed and grateful to work with savvy clients who have never asked us to make all their videos “go viral,” we thought this is a good jumping point to discuss what video promotion can do, what it can’t, and why going viral may not be a desirable thing in the first place.
Why Attorney Videos Don’t Usually Go Viral
In general, videos go viral not because they’re useful and informative, but because they evoke an emotional response. That response may be humor, outrage, compassion or a related feeling. Good attorney videos tend to educate to a greater degree than they affect.
The attorney videos that tend to go viral do so for all the wrong reasons. Take the story of the Philadelphia lawyer who posted an online video in which he stated that he considered laws “arbitrary” and assured potential clients that he “thinks like a criminal.” While the stunt earned clicks and shares all around the world, many of those who watched weren’t sure what to think. While he raised his visibility, it may have been at the cost of his reputation. And share-worthy stunts can even land a lawyer in trouble with their state bar.
Also, when people watch attorney videos, it is usually because they are experiencing legal difficulties. This is a situation that can be highly personal and private. Chances are, they are not going to want to share videos relating to life events that may be embarrassing, painful or even confidential.
How Videos Can Help Promote Your Practice
Videos give you a chance to tell your firm’s and your clients’ stories in a way that is more robust and convincing than text alone. They can serve as an introduction to potential clients and allow them to see you speak. Seeing you in action can help them get a sense of your communication style and expertise and help them decide that you are the lawyer they want and need. A video is humanizing, and it allows the client to feel more comfortable.
The most effective videos are the ones that answer questions typically asked by clients. A few examples:
- A lawyer who handles car accident injuries can explain his or her state’s auto insurance laws.
- A lawyer in family law can comment on current custody and child support practices.
- A lawyer who works with medical malpractice can explain what qualifies as medical negligence.
Once created, your videos can become part of a multi-channel online marketing effort. They can be shared on your social media pages and can add SEO value to your site. To optimize your SEO:
- Use a keyword-rich title. While “The One Thing Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know” may be an intriguing title, it doesn’t answer any questions. Use a title that is likely to correspond with someone’s search.
- Make sure you have a text description. Your description can tell search engines and potential viewers what to expect.
- Make sure that videos embedded in your webpage or blog load quickly. Slow-loading content causes web surfers to bounce, which can hurt your ranking with Google.
While going viral isn’t likely and isn’t even desirable, getting your videos online can be a great digital marketing practice. Contact us today to learn more about how you can market your firm with video.